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Mayor likely to extend emergency orders through May

MICHAEL VICTORINO Urges patience with rules

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino on Wednesday pointed to the end of May as a possible time frame for the end of Maui County public health emergency orders.

Mayor’s staff confirmed statements Victorino made to MauiNow where he said the emergency orders, slated to end April 30, likely would be extended. Earlier, he declined to answer questions about an extension, saying that an official announcement likely would come this week.

“I think it’s a very strong probability of extending on through May, maybe to May 31st,” Victorino said Wednesday. “I know this is really not news people wanted to hear, but I’ve got to be honest.

“Also, we’re looking at phasing in other businesses,” he added.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Tuesday that he is extending Oahu’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order through the end of May but is reopening city parks for exercise only.

Meanwhile, Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center, which saw its first coronavirus case at its Wailuku facility last week, reported Wednesday that the testing of all eight staff, who possibly had exposure to the virus from a client, came back negative.

“Super happy and excited all of our staff have come back to work; they are negative for the COVID-19 virus,” said Monique Yamashita, executive director of Ka Hale A Ke Ola, at the mayor’s news briefing Wednesday.

A client of Ka Hale A Ke Ola, who had contact with the hospital outbreak, tested positive last week and was placed in a state quarantine facility off-site, along with another homeless man who wasn’t feeling well.

No test results were available for the other individual, Yamashita told The Maui News on Tuesday.

She said the two are doing well and “should have good outcomes.”

Yamashita added that the county has helped facilitate testing, which will now be provided to individuals and staff at the shelter who are concerned about possible exposure. She also is thankful to the county and the community for donated masks, food and other supplies.

“Thank you all for your prayers, we are doing really well,” she said.

Also during the update:

• South Maui coronavirus drive-thru testing will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. today for first responders and health care workers only, then from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the general public at South Maui Community Park Gymnasium.

• Haiku / Paia drive-thru food distribution will be held at 10 a.m. today at Old Maui High School, 1000 Holomua Road. About 300 bags of food will be given to those in need. Drivers must enter off Hana Highway and will exit onto Baldwin Avenue.

• Under state public health emergency rules, no one can be evicted from a residential dwelling for failure to pay rent, but renters still are legally obligated to make the payment. Victorino said residents may call the state at (808) 586-2634 from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays with questions. Also, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii may be contacted at (800) 499-4302. For landlord / tenant frequently asked questions, visit cca.hawaii.gov/ocp/ landlord-tenant-faqs/.

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.

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